10'6" Hyside on Main Salmon end of June? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-08-2011   #1
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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10'6" Hyside on Main Salmon end of June?

I am on a permit to run the Main Salmon at the end of June/first few days of July. I was planning to paddle my 10'6" Hyside (Minimax) with my wife R-2 plus cooler, drybox, several drybags (we ran this setup for 5 days on the san juan in Utah last summer with success, but no big rapids). I have about 70 river days total experience guiding this boat. I am pretty comfortable with class III such as brown's, shoshone in the 3k range, lower eagle in the 2-3k range, etc. and I have run Seidels a few times. I have never been on the main salmon or a river that large. With snowpack still at 150% in Idaho and after watching some youtube videos after typing in main salmon high water, I am starting to question whether this is a fools errand. There will be plenty of other experienced boaters and kayakers in our group of 22, but having never run a river like this, I don't really know what to expect (I already ordered the guidebook).

So if I flip, which is pretty much guaranteed, what is it like in such large flows of water? I assume it won't be the knee and ankle crushing battle swims like I had on Browns last sunday. Is the main salmon mostly big pushy waves with good recovery afterwards? I guess Elkhorn is a pretty long one. Another friend told me that I could navigate around most rapids since the river is so wide. We will be wearing wetsuits, helmets and knee pads, considering hockey style shin guards too, but maybe swims in the main at high water are more about holding your breath. Any insight, etc. would be appreciated, thanks.

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Old 06-08-2011   #2
 
Avon, Colorado
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Here is a good thread from 2009. I listed a bunch of good info for camps and rapids.
https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...sts-25602.html

If and when you swim, you will not touch a rock. This river is deep.

These are big water rapids, (ie- huge pool drop recovery) but with a group of 22 i would see no concern for a flip. Fellow boaters could help out rather fast. Most likely you will flip from a large standing wave or lateral.

The river is not crazy cold, i only had shorts on during my extended swim sessions (elkhorn and Chittum)
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Old 06-08-2011   #3
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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Great info in that link, thanks. Do you think a 10'6" has a reasonable chance at making it through those rapids or is it more likely I will be swimming all week?!
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Old 06-08-2011   #4
 
Avon, Colorado
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There will really only be 5-6 rapids that will flip you. You sound pretty competent.

I'll say 2 flips and a swim. That size raft will be easy to recover/reflip. Plenty of flatwater between rapids

I think the water will be down a bit in early July.
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Old 06-08-2011   #5
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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So it should make for good bonding of husband and wife, running just above our comfort level but with plenty of other big boats. I just don't want to get sucked/pushed under water for 30 consecutive seconds or longer, that would be terrifying.
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Old 06-08-2011   #6
 
Avon, Colorado
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Nope, its straight forward big water. The canyon can easily handle these flows, hence you will not see many weird whirlpool features or eddylines (like a flooded westwater).

That being said....there maybe a few fun pucker instances for you guys (solid III+ boaters in a small raft)
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Old 06-08-2011   #7
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I see no issues with your set up. I am 80% certain you will NOT flip. The water will be colder than normal for the time of year so bring a framer john or something. The worst thing about the main is that you are way out in the middle of nowhere. Hours away from help, but there are jet boats, air strip, and cabins along the way.

enjoy

for what is worth, in the old days, I floated a 9' std floor POS on the main all the time. Just me and light gear. No real issues.
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Old 06-08-2011   #8
 
Costa Mesa, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luciphil View Post
Great info in that link, thanks. Do you think a 10'6" has a reasonable chance at making it through those rapids or is it more likely I will be swimming all week?!
Depends on how good you are of making that boat do what you want. It will definitely be fun.
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Old 06-08-2011   #9
 
pocatello, Idaho
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agree with above posters. No bruising swims, you will never touch bottom. Flips are likely, though not a foregone conclusion.

Flip, ride a big wave train, get back on, re-flip and get back on. Commercial groups let noobs take IKs through almost everything just pick up the pieces at the bottom pool.
I don't think the rapids will still have a lot of the big water sneaks, but some will and you will likely run the meat anyhow just for fun.
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Old 06-08-2011   #10
 
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Golden, Colorado
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I have a Main trip planned for July 11th-17th. What types of flows do you Main experts think we will have then? I will be running a 14ft SB. I have a handful of III-IV rowing experience but nothing really big. Good to know the swims are managable.
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